China Attempts to Protect Its Internet Users From Phishing Attacks

The Chinese government has announced plans to work with 10 domestic search engines to decrease chances that Internet users could be deceived by phishing attacks.

A phishing attack occurs when a user has been persuaded to give up his username and password through a fake webpage that looks like the original one.

To combat this, the official websites of several Chinese banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China (SHA) and China Construction Bank, will be at the top of search engine rankings after a user searches for related keywords, which will attempt to reduce the risks of attacks, according to China’s Ministry of Public Security.

The Ministry will work with companies including Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU) to protect website rankings of the financial institutions.

Friday’s announcement comes after China suggested tighter Internet security following a flurry of personal data leaks, which scared online users, driving them to ask for tougher surveillance on those who can attain online information.

On Thursday, the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department acknowledged a technical vulnerability on the Division of Exit and Entry Administrative Department of Public Security website, which had exposed the personal data of 4.4 million users.

The Chinese media said that a microblogger reported the loophole on Thursday, but it had been there since June; it has subsequently been fixed.

China is believed to have the greatest number of Internet users worldwide at 485 million, according to a November state media report. While the Internet is heavily censored and monitored in China, many users have been upset about the data leaks and their effect.